MATCH REPORT: Offaly U20s pull off epic extra-time win over Dublin

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

MATCH REPORT: Offaly U20s pull off epic extra-time win over Dublin

MATCH REPORT: Offaly U20s pull off epic extra-time win over Dublin

Leinster U20 Hurling Championship - Quarter-Final

Offaly 1-29

Dublin 2-25

Offaly hurling got the shot in the arm it needed after the senior woes this summer as the county's U20s pulled off a dramatic victory over Dublin in Parnell Park on Wednesday, June 26.

The Faithful showed real character as they came back from a half-time deficit to earn extra-time, before pulling well away for a time during that period. In the end, Dublin reeled them in again and it was a real battle of wills at the finish.

Cathal Kiely was a key figure in this game and the Kilcormac-Killoughey midfielder was on the scoresheet early as he and Conor Langton overturned Cian Derwin's first-minute opener for the capital.

Derwin and Kiely traded further scores before Ryan Hogan put Offaly into a 0-4 to 0-3 lead after seven minutes. 

The first big turning point of the game came four minutes later when Billy Ryan rattled the net for Dublin, putting the home side into a two-point lead. 

Not to be outdone, Cathal Kiely once again rallied and fired over two fine scores to level matters within two minutes of the green flag. 

Derwin then got up a head of steam for the boys in blue and split the posts with on three further occasions before the 20-minute mark. Iain O'hEither and Diarmuid O'Floinn points stretched the Dublin lead to five on a 1-8 to 0-6 scoreline. 

Conor Langton retaliated with a good point, while Billy Ryan added to the Dublin tally. Cathal Kiely sparked back into life late in the half with five more points, while Michael Conroy and Cian Derwin found the target to help Dublin to a 1-11 to 0-12 lead at the break.

Dublin started the second period with vigour and added to their lead before the 36-minute mark, Kevin Desmond pointing to put them 1-14 to 0-13 lead.

Cathal Kiely kept Offaly in the tie for large periods while the likes of O'Floinn and Desmond added to the Dublin tally. 

David Nally got himself on the scoresheet as Offaly wrestled with the deficit but it took until the 57th minute before they levelled it up thanks to 2018 minor star Killian Sampson's stunning point. The sides were level at 0-21 to 1-18 at that point.

Liam Murphy put Dublin back in front before Kiely struck again as nerves jangled on the sideline. Derwin and Langton scored late before the final whistle blew with the sides level at 1-21 to 0-24 points.

Offaly started the first period of extra time like a team possessed with Cathal Kiely and Conor Langton adding four points within eight minutes without reply. 

Things got better for the Faithful when Conor Quinn rifled to the net and Cathal Kiely added an extra white flag. A Cian Derwin point was the only resistance Dublin could offer in the first ten-minute period as Offaly led 1-28 to 1-22 at the break.

The tie might have looked over at that point but a Derwin point, followed by a goal from Matthew Dunne pulled Dublin right back into the contest and to within two points, 1-28 to 2-23, after just four minutes of the second period. 

Parnell Park turned to dusk as these two teams continued to go toe-to-toe and Dublin weren't about to let the sun come down on their championship without a fight. 

Derwin hit two points within two minutes to level the game up yet again but there was to be more drama with Offaly awarded a free in injury-time in extra-time. 

With the imperious Kiely injured, John Murphy stood over the highly pressurised placed ball. His teammates and the Faithful supporters need not have worried as Murphy sent the sliotar whistling through the humid air and over the bar for a famous win. 

Offaly ran out 1-29 to 2-25 winners with Cathal Kiely top-scoring with a staggering personal tally of 0-20.